Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Pointe Du Rad, the western most point of France

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Chronological Reading Plan for Nov 30, 1 Cor 9-11

Today's readings are 1 Cor 9-11. Tomorrow's are 1 Cor 12-14.

In 1 Cor 8-9, Paul practices what he preaches. Immediately after cautioning the Corinthians not to become a stumbling block for those who are younger or less mature, Paul surrenders his rights as an Apostle in order to be a good example to those who are still growing spiritually. He also tells them the two most important things are; how you run the race (how you live) and how you finish the race (where your eternal destiny is).

Paul describes the experience Israel had in the wilderness in 1 Cor 10. In spite of their rights and privileges as the people of God, they suffered. There are some lessons to be learned from their suffering and how they handled it. While the Corinthians should not be fearful of temptation, they should be cautious about dabbling in idolatry, a symbol of sin, as the Hebrews did in the wilderness. It never ends well.

Paul ends the chapter on a note of Christian freedom. But it’s a freedom that carries responsibilities. Christians are not only to avoid sin but also to avoid causing someone else to sin. Using the freedom to eat meat sacrificed to idols as an example. Paul tells them they can enjoy the things of the world as long as their enjoyment does not displace God as their highest priority nor cause a problem for someone else.

Paul begins to address orderly worship in 1 Cor 11. Keeping in mind that the whole letter is a corrective, we can assume the men and women were in utter chaos during the assembly. We'll see this theme develop in the next few chapters. Paul establishes godly structure in the church and the service, allowing men and women an orderly way to prophecy during the service. That the Corinthian culture was not in sync with the male-dominated culture of the first century does not seem to matter to Paul, nor to God. These instructions on how women should speak in the assembly should be kept in mind as we go forward. They present a strong tension between many ill-informed pre-conceptions of what we read in 1 Cor 14:33-35 and 1 Tim 2:11-12.

Apparently, the Corinthians are also observing the Lord's Supper in a less than reverent manner. Paul exhorts them to examine their motives, methods and manners prior to having communion, a valuable example for all of us. 

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